ST 8/12: Into innovation space


Division 4 has a new working group.

The group is a short term one. We will work this autumn to develop proposals to the Professional Committee for more effective communication within IFLA. We want more transparent dialogue on the web between policy and decision makers, on the one hand, and ordinary participants, committee members and officers from SIGs and sections, on the other.

As part of this initiative I have formulated some ideas and adressed them to Ann Okerson, the PC chair, on the web. Fortunately, she had been interviewed by IFLA Express, and the interview even had a comment button. We want more of those ….

You may read the interview and the comments at But this particular document will soon disappear into the mists of time. Therefore I repeat my comments here

First comment

Dear Ann

Thanks for your positive response to the challenge of innovation in a rather conplex organization.

We had quite a lively discussion at and after the Leadership briefing, and this was followed by a similar debate at the Division Four meeting next morning. I wrote a blog post here

D4 set up a small working group, coordinated by Sebastian Wilke, to address the communication issue and develop proposals for the PC. The group had its first meeting yesterday and will invite IFLA to its discussions on the open web.

We look forward to the dialogue. Our hashtag will be #ifladial.

Second comment

written after the Officers Training meeting on Wednesday, where we also had a good discussion.

Dear Ann

IFLA is a large, complex and many-layered organization .

IFLA needs to recruit new librarians as participants, members, officers and leaders. But the decision-making processes are hard to observe and hard to understand. This does not aid inspiration, enthusiasm and recruitment.

I do not know how fast IFLA is able to move into “innovation space”. But I believe there are at least some steps that the PC could take or ask for at once, collectively and individually, without (monetary) costs:

  1. add comment buttons to a wide range of documents on the IFLA website – in order to encourage visible discussion
  2. participate in the twitter discussions, for instance by using our hashtag #ifladial
  3. release the traffic data (web log stats) for the IFLA web site, so that the actual use of the site can be known

I hope we can conduct this discussion in “the public sphere”. E-mail is fine for private or in-group communication. But practical and principled discussions about the future of IFLA belongs to the whole constituency of IFLA.


I should add that the two of us also have had several friendly talks face to face … But in a vast organization like IFLA we cannot rely on personal encounters and meetings as the primary means of engaging the community.


2 Responses to “ST 8/12: Into innovation space”

  1. PL 33/12: From San Juan to Helsinki « Plinius Says:

    […] ST 8/12: Into innovation space. IFLA encouraged to engage in more dialogue […]

  2. P 51/12: Blogging i august « Plinius Says:

    […] ST 8/12: Into innovation space. IFLA encouraged to engage in more dialogue […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: